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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102145
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My ex wanted our decree to state no relationship around the

Customer Question

My ex wanted our decree to state no relationship around the kids for 6 months. I did not but signed to end the divorce and move on. My girlfriend and I have leased a place together in both names. My ex is prepared to hold me in contempt of decree. I get my kids overnight 1 night every 2 weeks. They love her and she loves them. Kids are not in harms way at all! Do I have any hope here? I have not admitted to her being my girlfriend, only my friend but my ex is not stupid. My kids are 2 and 4.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 8 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

If the decree says no overnights for romantic partners while the children are over (or something akin to this), and you do this anyhow, then you violated the decree.

If you did, you are in contempt.

Unless the Judge believes that there was lewd behavior near the children however, it is unlikely that the Court will punish someone in your situation severely, although you are likely to be verbally admonished and warned and possibly be made to pay for the other side's costs in bringing the contempt motion. I am sorry. Now, this is assuming the Court believes your ex's allegations.

Your best bet here is to argue that:

1) No lewd behavior has taken place, or

2) That there allegations are simply false (they have to prove it).

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I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 8 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I had a lead up question to your response and that is.With my girlfriend legally bound to the lease as well as I, what could the magistrate possibly do if they found me in contempt?
Expert:  Ely replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for your reply
With my girlfriend legally bound to the lease as well as I, what could the magistrate possibly do if they found me in contempt?
Honestly, the Court has a LOT of discretion here. Assuming no lewd conduct has taken place in front of the children, the Judge here will most often admonish (i.e. yell at you a bit) and warn you not to do it again. You may also be ordered to pay the legal fees for her bringing the motion.
Now, repeated contempt for this may cause fines. Brazen, malicious, repeated contempt - #3 and up, may even earn you a few hours in the jail adjacent to the Court - to scare you.
If you wish to change the underlining order, you can file for a MODIFICATION of the custody order. The issue is that if the ban is for 6 months, it may not be worth it as it would take 6 months or more just to push it through, if she does not agree to it.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

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